A township trustee on Thursday urged Delaware County commissioners not to change the way in which emergency medical services are funded across the Delaware County.
Charles Miley, a Brown Township trustee, told the commissioners that “several township and fire departments are still very much opposed to changing the EMS funding.”
Several townships, he said, have passed resolutions opposing any change to the funding structure, including Brown, Scioto and Oxford townships.
A coalition of officials in the city of Delaware and Orange, Liberty, Genoa and Harlem townships formally asked the Delaware County commissioners in June to take on a study that could drastically alter the way emergency medical services are provided and funded.
The county’s emergency medical services are funded through a 0.5 percent sales tax. However, several of the county’s more populous townships and the city of Delaware provide the same service through their fire departments.
Currently, just Liberty Township and the city of Delaware receive a portion of the sales tax revenue. Those two jurisdictions provided firefighter-based EMS when the countywide sales tax was approved in the early 1970s. Since then, the other entities have added their own firefighter-based EMS through voter-approved levies.
Under a proposal presented in 2013, the county would pay each township $600,000 for each ambulance it operates. As an Genoa Township trustee, Commissioner Barb Lewis supported the proposal.
However, officials with the coalition said they are open to other ways to change EMS funding.
Miley said he believes the townships that provide the service should discontinue doing so.
“If the funding for the Tanger Outlets come in, I would not see why the other townships would gladly give up their EMS because you guys could fund it so much easier than they can,” he said. “Because you’re not going to fund it with a levy that might pass or fail. Whereas the sales tax is an ongoing income for the county.”
Dustin Ensinger can be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @EnsingerDG.